RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper late Wednesday ordered $4 million to be provided Scotland and 26 other counties to spray for mosquitoes whose populations have exploded following Hurricane Florence.
“To help local communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, I’ve directed state funds for mosquito control efforts to protect people who live in hard-hit areas.” Cooper said.
Cooper said each county’s share will be determined by its size and that the state is not demanding reimbursement.
The other counties that will benefit are Bladen, Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Wayne, and Wilson, all of which have been declared disaster areas following Florence.
Cooper said individual counties will determine the best method for eradication, and in Robeson that is likely to be aerial spraying.
The city of Laurinburg has been granted permission by the state to conduct truck mounted ultra-low volume spraying, commonly called fogging. That fogging began on Thursday.
The city’s Public Works Department has 300 packs of larvicide that will be given out to residents on a first come, first serve basis. Proof of residency in the city limits is necessary and only one pack will be given per address. City officials are soliciting bids to purchase additional packs of larvicide.
According to the Health Department, to prevent mosquitoes from breeding:
— Remove containers that can hold water, especially old tires.
— Keep gutters clean and in good repair.
— Repair leaky outdoor faucets and change the water in bird baths and pet bowls at least twice a week.
— Use screened windows and doors and make sure screens fit tightly and are not torn.
— Keep tight-fitting screens or lids on rain barrels.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, to avoid being bitten:
— Use an EPA-registered insect repellent with one of the following active ingredients: DEET; Picaridin; IR3535; Oil of lemon eucalyptus; Para-menthane-diol; or 2-undecanone.
— Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
— If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito bed net.